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  1. Lorenzo Cain so good he’s listed twice.

    Comment by Ben — April 9, 2012 @ 1:19 pm

  2. Cognitive dissonance.

    Comment by StFriebe — April 9, 2012 @ 1:26 pm

  3. Rasmus over Joyce I will have to respectfully disagree. I own Rasmus in both leagues and hope your right, although you give Joyce no love.

    Comment by dscott — April 9, 2012 @ 1:32 pm

  4. Fixed.

    I’m embarrassed at that one. I’m also embarrassed at the NotGraphs post about my hitting “talent.” You should laugh at that while you’re at it.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 1:33 pm

  5. David Murphy??

    Comment by JPG — April 9, 2012 @ 1:36 pm

  6. Jackson and Boesch are rated too low. Each will likely score over 100R’s and with typical production of other stats will easily vault up one or two tiers, at a minimum.

    Also, as we saw this weekend, anyone on the Twins needs to be downgraded. That lineup is horrible and is going to have all kinds of problems. Span and Willingham aren’t going to do very much.

    Comment by wjylaw — April 9, 2012 @ 1:38 pm

  7. Gardner still in that tier despite sitting vs lefties?? Interesting.

    Comment by Chuck — April 9, 2012 @ 1:40 pm

  8. As stated above, this is just the first set of rankings that I’ll be doing throughout the season. This was basically my pre-draft rankings for my AL only league. I’m assuming 5×5 for the sake of it being the most common league format (even though personally I’m only in two 5×5 leagues).

    As the season progresses, these rankings will change due to injury, production, or lack thereof.

    When a players rank does change, I’ll try to explain why I think they deserve to be upgraded or downgraded.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 1:43 pm

  9. I just stated below that this was more or less my pre-draft rankings with a few justifications written in. Assuming Murphy really will get 400 PA (thanks in part to resting the starters and the injury prone Hamilton and Cruz) I should have had him on here. He’ll be on in May, possibly with a spotlight in the coming Mondays before that.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 1:45 pm

  10. I’m hoping that the Jays can replicate (to some degree) their success with Rasmus’ swing change similar to what they did with Bautista. Obviously I’m not predicting 40 HR with a .400 OBP, but I do think Rasmus will improve this year. I’m a believer. Or a kool-aid drinker. However you’d like to phrase it.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 1:48 pm

  11. Gotcha.

    I think Luke Scott (if he’s not injured) vaults up your next ranking also. He’s got the ability to put up some stats in that lineup, even if he’s just playing against RH’s.

    Comment by wjylaw — April 9, 2012 @ 1:52 pm

  12. Where’s Corey Hart?

    Comment by fartballs — April 9, 2012 @ 2:06 pm

  13. Ignore the question (realized we’re talking AL-only). Why no “delete” option with the posts?

    Comment by fartballs — April 9, 2012 @ 2:08 pm

  14. He’s gotten over 550 PA the past years. Even sitting vs lefties so Jones can mash em, Gardner is incredibly useful.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 2:11 pm

  15. So if the guys in Tier 8 are “droppable” (of which I am starting 2), what does that say for the two guys I am starting in my OF that are not ranked (Reimold and Viciedo)?

    Comment by SportsbyBeast — April 9, 2012 @ 2:34 pm

  16. It could be any of the following:

    -You play in the deepest league known to man. 20 teams, 40 roster spots.
    -You spent too much on INF/Pitching, leaving no money for OF.
    -You drafted your OF too late in a snake draft.
    -You went “Stars and Scrubs” with obvious scrubs.
    -You just drafted poorly. It happens. I’ve been there, done that.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 2:49 pm

  17. There are a litany of names on this list that I’d slot over Colby Rasmus including Matt Joyce, Brennan Boesch, Torii Hunter, Vernon Wells, Josh Reddick, Yoenis Cespedes, Jeff Francouer & Delmon Young. I think the hope is that Rasmus can still recoup some value as a real life CF, but I don’t think he’s the most astute upside play right now in mixed leagues with his prolonged funk & also batting in the 9th spot in the order.

    Comment by Stan Gable — April 9, 2012 @ 2:50 pm

  18. Delmon Young is considered ‘droppable’ to you in anything other than the shallowest of formats? I can’t get on board with that considering the lineup in which he hits for one thing.

    Comment by Stan Gable — April 9, 2012 @ 2:52 pm

  19. If Young continues to “hit” fifth, then I’ll revise. Until then, he’s a 15-18 homer guy in that park with an okay average. That is droppable to me in a lot of leagues and formats. RBI’s are hard to come by when he makes an out 68% of the time.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 3:01 pm

  20. Michael Saunders obviously doesn’t deserve to be on this list (yet).

    What the upside with him? With daily playing time and plus .400slg, could he be a tier 7 guy?

    (I’m in a very, very deep league)

    Comment by OTerry — April 9, 2012 @ 3:33 pm

  21. Does Austin Jackson merit a promotion since his pitch recognition and strike zone control seem to be improving? He is swinging at fewer pitches outside the strike zone 2010-2012 (early count so far obviously but continuing trend from last year), and making contact at a much higher rate as compared to 2010.

    If he continues that trend, he could push his OBP north of .350. If he gets on base at that clip, he is going to score a ton of runs for the Tigers.

    Comment by Bucfan — April 9, 2012 @ 3:49 pm

  22. Saunders won’t offer much power, maybe 10, with 12-15 as his very ceiling. He might nab 15 bags, so if he goes 10-15, that’s not awful but really that useful. I don’t think his average will ever be much above .240. Unless there is a drastic change in his game, I just don’t see Saunders being fantasy relevant. I do like his minor league walk rates though. If you play in an OBP league, he could be attractive as a lottery ticket that maybe pans out and finds some power and AVG.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 4:38 pm

  23. If he fully harnesses his speed he will be lethal. Until he does that, maintains his double digit BB% and keeps his K% under 25%, sure, he can go up. That’s an awful lot to ask of a player. I don’t really see a .350+ OBP for any significant amount of time out of Jackson anytime soon however.

    According to StateCorner’s oMs%, Jackson was worse at swinging and missing outside of the zone last year than in 2010. Where are you seeing an improvement in his strike zone discipline (other than his 16 PA this year)?

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 4:48 pm

  24. Jose Bautista should not only be number 1. I nominate him as “the most interesting man” in baseball.

    Comment by Rallyk — April 9, 2012 @ 4:54 pm

  25. Yes, you should also note that he is officially their third outfielder now…500 PA isn’t out of the question, if not likely

    Comment by Daniel — April 9, 2012 @ 5:03 pm

  26. lol. i’d normally think Ryan Braun before hart if I was a brewers fan who thought this was all-mlb…

    Comment by Daniel — April 9, 2012 @ 5:05 pm

  27. I’m in an 18 team, 45 roster spot keeper league…and my fifth outfielder is willingham…(beltran, holliday, markakis and werth) pretty awesome

    Comment by Daniel — April 9, 2012 @ 5:08 pm

  28. I have Michael Brantly right along side Denard Span, and they were 2 bucks apart in my AL only draft. In fact, I drafted them both. Why so down on Brantly? I see him as a 24 year old Denard Span, 10 hr, 20 sb, .290 avg guy. Not a bad thing?

    Comment by illinibob — April 9, 2012 @ 5:44 pm

  29. Just look at the first 1000 PA’s for each. Huge difference. I know Span has struggled with post-concussion syndromes, but he claims he’s healthy, he had a very good spring (warning, Spring Training stats) and Span has shown that he can produce at the MLB level. Brantley just hasn’t shown me that yet.

    It’s possible that Brantley and Span end up close in value this year, but I just don’t have a reason to think that just yet.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 7:04 pm

  30. Hmm. To find the most interesting man in baseball, I think you’d have to go over to NotGraphs.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 9, 2012 @ 7:05 pm

  31. If anything, Willingham is underrated. He was one swing away from 30 hr 100 rbi in an even worse lineup and ballpark last year. You can’t find that kind of power from anyone else at his ADP or auction price.

    Comment by Pat — April 9, 2012 @ 10:56 pm

  32. You really think Trout will be called up before June? How many weeks in your opinion? Thanks.

    Comment by Yankees123 — April 9, 2012 @ 11:20 pm

  33. Nelson Cruz two tiers above Adam Jones is very strange…

    Comment by Jason — April 10, 2012 @ 12:47 am

  34. I don’t have any inside info, but given his history of abusing minor league pitching, I think he’ll force the Angels hand here.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 10, 2012 @ 12:12 pm

  35. I see Jones as a 25-10 with a .280 average. Certainly useful, but I’ll take Cruz’s 30 homers and 15 steals with the same, or better, average. The surrounding talent in their respective lineups really hurts Jones as well.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 10, 2012 @ 12:14 pm

  36. In my 12-team mixed 7×6 roto league (5×5 categories, plus OPB, SLG, and HLD) I drafted Brett Gardner, thinking he’d be my everyday LF and get 500+ PA, giving a nice boost to my R, SB, and OBP.

    I don’t have any everyday outfielder on my bench (I drafted MikeTrout later, as a flyer).

    Will Gardner really be used as the RHP part of a R/L platoon this season? Is Girardi really that stupid? Gardner’s defense and OBP skills are huge upgrades over Andruw JOnes.

    If Gardner ends with something closer to 300-350 PA, then he’ll likely have something like 25 SB rather than 45 SB, 45 runs rather than 90, and his OBP value will be severely limited because it’s weighted by PA.

    If this really is going to be a platoon, I don’t think it make sense for me to keep him on my roster. I’ll need to get a CF or LF eligible outfielder with great speed (and hopefully useful ratio stats) to replace him.

    This could really mess up my season. Can anybody help with a suggestion?

    Comment by Jeff W. — April 10, 2012 @ 12:44 pm

  37. Gardner has accumulated over 570 PA the past 2 years. Worst case scenario is that he plays every day against righties, and only half the time against lefties. That’s still incredibly useful.

    Comment by David Wiers — April 10, 2012 @ 2:14 pm

  38. Josh Hamilton had 704 PA in 2008.

    Comment by Joseph Meyer — April 21, 2012 @ 1:11 am

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